Racist stuff-up is bad tim­ing

Auckland City Harbour News - - News -

“Racist” was the la­bel given to Na­tional’s im­mi­gra­tion spokesman Lockwood Smith af­ter his amaz­ing stuff-up last week when he said that Asians had small hands and Pa­cific Is­lan­ders had hy­giene prob­lems.

For­mer Samoan and Na­tional MP Arthur Anae said that this type of view was one of the rea­sons why he left the Na­tional Party.

Pa­cific Is­land leaders were united in their con­dem­na­tion of Smith.

Maori Party co-leader Tar­i­ana Turia also raised her ob­jec­tions at what she per­ceived was a racist view.

Smith to his credit apol­o­gised for his com­ments. John Key and Na­tional will be hop­ing that the con­tro­versy will go away sooner rather than later.

Smith’s com­ments are a re­minder that you don’t have to be a signed-up and fi­nan­cial mem­ber of the Ku Klux Klan to hold and make racist com­ments.

Be­lieve it or not, Lockwood Smith is one of the nicest MPs in Par­lia­ment and in fact he can be quite a gen­tle­man.

As a for­mer min­is­ter of ed­u­ca­tion, he worked closely with Maori and was a sup­porter of ko­hanga reo, kura and wananga. So it was no sur­prise to me that his apol­ogy was read­ily ac­cepted by Tar­i­ana and her party.

Of course the pre­vi­ous work that Lockwood did and the fact he’s a nice guy does not give him a right to ex­press racist views.

How­ever it does raise the ques­tion that if one of Na­tional’s nice guys thinks like this, then what do the oth­ers re­ally think? Do they too hold sim­i­lar views? And do they re­ally care about mi­nori­ties?

Arthur Anae says that they don’t.

And he was a Na­tional MP as re­cently as 2002.

But John Key says that Arthur is wrong and they do care about mi­nori­ties and all New Zealan­ders.

Al­though they didn’t care about mi­nori­ties, Maori in par­tic­u­lar, when Don Brash was in charge just three years ago.

Their elec­tion cam­paign was based around pulling the race card and an an­tiMaori mes­sage.

But times have changed ac­cord­ing to John Key and of course he’s one of the nicer blokes in Par­lia­ment.

And nice blokes like John can’t be racist. Can they?

Lis­ten to Wil­lie Jack­son on Mon­day at 10am on Ra­dio Waatea 603AM

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